YOU'RE ANGRY THAT $9 KEEPS YOUR KID FROM GETTING THE SAFEST POSSIBLE VACCINE
(MONEY Magazine) – December's special report, "The Lethal Dangers of the Billion-Dollar Vaccine Business," drew powerful response from readers. Most who sent mail were angry that, with government approval, drug companies sell vaccines that have left children like Joshua Reed (pictured at right) brain damaged, can spread polio from your baby to you--and can even kill. You were still angrier that these vaccines dominate the market even though safer stuff is available; for example, a dose of virtually risk-free DPT costs just $9 more than the widely used current product. Some doctors expressed concern that our article might scare people from getting immunized. As we said in the story, "No one is suggesting that your kids skip their shots. However, shouldn't your children receive the safest vaccines that can be made? And shouldn't your doctors always alert you to the danger signs--before and after immunization--that you should watch for to prevent tragedy? Neither is the case now."
Finally, a magazine has the integrity to report the truth about vaccine risks. Please continue to expose the deceit and greed of vaccine manufacturers. CINDY GOLDENBERG Laguna Beach, Calif.
I am a parent, and my child's health is my No. 1 priority. I was blown away by your article, which alerted me to vaccination dangers I was not aware of. I am showing it to all my friends. You've proved to me that Money magazine is about more than just money--it's about family life. Thanks. RICHARD FINKELSTEIN Chicago
I found "the lethal dangers of the Billion-Dollar Vaccine Business" eye-opening. REP. HENRY B. GONZALEZ (D-Texas) Washington, D.C.
I have referred a copy of your ground-breaking article to the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and asked the FDA to address the serious issues you raised. What I find so appalling is that once parents lose a child or their child is permanently injured by either DPT or oral vaccines, they are "compensated" by the federal government to the tune of nearly a half-billion dollars a year. It seems to me, as I state in my letter to the commissioner, that if it is money that stands in the way of making safer vaccines available to our children, we should use the half-billion dollars to pay the difference and allow children to live, rather than pay their parents for allowing us to let them die or be brain damaged for life in the name of profit margins. REP. NICK J. RAHALL II (D-W.Va.) Washington, D.C.
You have surely saved more than a few children's lives by courageously publishing this information. The trust we place in the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and practicing pediatricians is indeed grossly misplaced. We need a federal vaccine oversight authority managed by individuals who have no past or possible future connection to vaccine manufacturers. It doesn't take a rocket scientist (and I am one) to see that we have a real problem here. GREGG BURGESS Sterling, Va.
I am extremely concerned about your creating unwarranted fears. Vaccines are safe and save children's lives. Our goal is to reduce even minimal risks to zero, and that's why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration have made vaccine safety a top priority. PHILLIP LEE, M.D. Assistant Secretary for Health Department of Health and Human Services Washington, D.C.
SETTLING DISPUTES WITH STOCKBROKERS
The problems you disclosed about securities arbitration (November's "Wall Street's Stingiest Judges") should make investors want to explore an attractive alternative: mediation. A mediator helps the investor, the broker and their attorneys reach a resolution. Settlement is voluntary. If no settlement is reached, the parties are free to move their dispute to arbitration.
The National Association of Securities Dealers' Mediation Program has completed its first year with an impressive 85% settlement rate. Resolution, on average, is reached in 60 days. For further information, investors should contact Kenneth L. Andrichik, NASD Regulation Inc., NASD Financial Center, 33 Whitehall St., New York, N.Y. 10004. ROGER M. DEITZ New York City
Cheers from an inspired investor as a woman subscriber and a black woman, I was cheered to read November's special section, Women and Money, and see that it was so diverse in terms of age, race and class. It was an absolute inspiration. VERONICA CHAMBERS Brooklyn